Speaker's pearls before piglets : FLAT EARTH

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FREE today, with Flat Earth! Your very own pass notes for the Gingrich-Hacohen seminar on the role of women in the military! Gingrich, of course, is Newt, Speaker of the US House of Representatives. The lesser-known Hacohen is Gershon, until Thursday thecommander of an Israeli armoured brigade.

Teaching students in a cable-televised course in American civilisation, Newt, you may recall, had much of that civilisation crumbling with laughter with his view that men were better suited to combat than women, who "have biological problems being in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections". Men, though, "are basically little piglets. You drop them in a ditch, they roll around in it."

"If combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for 12 ships and their rockets," he explained, "a female may be dramatically better than a male, who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes."